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Rob R

The state of nature

Quote:
State of nature in the EU: biodiversity still being eroded, but some local improvements observed

Biodiversity Policy instruments
The majority of habitats and species in Europe have an unfavourable conservation status despite significant improvements for many species in recent years, according to a new technical report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.


Source
dpack

i will read that later

from a very subjective point of view over last 50 yrs ,this might well be the anthropocene extinction but garden novelties or useful things which have been crop or delight go feral, as well critters and plants hitch hike on global trade,etc ,etc
humans have relocated a lot of species to new habitats where they or their descendants might thrive ,adapt or interact .

call me back in say twenty million years and we will see how things are developing.
Mistress Rose

Certainly in the UK we seem to have two extremes. There are those that try to maintain of improve habitats, like most Downsizers, and those that see a bit of ground without houses and regard it as 'waste' land, even if it is an important habitat or good farming land.
Rob R

Certainly in the UK we seem to have two extremes. There are those that try to maintain of improve habitats, like most Downsizers, and those that see a bit of ground without houses and regard it as 'waste' land, even if it is an important habitat or good farming land.


Which reminds me...

Farmer turns down £275m for his land
Mistress Rose

Good for him and hope other landowners support him. Not far from here we are threatened whti a 7000 house development. I assume they can buy the land, but it has been deemed 'sustainable' even though it almost certainly isn't. By having another 700 houses in our village in one place we are hoping that other developments will not be built, although with the current 'presumption to allow' ideas I am not at all certain.

It is not just the area lost to housing, but it puts a strain on everything round it; roads, countryside, hopitals etc.

Where do all the people come from, as these massive developments are not all 'affordable' or social housing, which will give those without homes somewhere to live.
dpack

in some places he would need a very trustworthy close protection team.

i respect folk who turn down vast riches cos they dont like the developers plans (or whatever)
Tavascarow

Certainly in the UK we seem to have two extremes. There are those that try to maintain of improve habitats, like most Downsizers, and those that see a bit of ground without houses and regard it as 'waste' land, even if it is an important habitat or good farming land.


Which reminds me...

Farmer turns down £275m for his land Sounds like a lot of money but 500k an acre when you can pay anywhere from 100 to 200k for a single plot with outlying permission & I'd say it's underpriced.
He'll sell when he's offered 500m.
Rob R

Certainly in the UK we seem to have two extremes. There are those that try to maintain of improve habitats, like most Downsizers, and those that see a bit of ground without houses and regard it as 'waste' land, even if it is an important habitat or good farming land.

Which reminds me...

Farmer turns down £275m for his land Sounds like a lot of money but 500k an acre when you can pay anywhere from 100 to 200k for a single plot with outlying permission & I'd say it's underpriced.
He'll sell when he's offered 500m.

It didn't have planning permission.

The only thing you can say with any certainty is that you'd sell at £500m if you were in that position.
Ty Gwyn

If it did`nt have planning permission,a developer offering £275M has information from somewhere it will get planning. Tavascarow

If it did`nt have planning permission,a developer offering £275M has information from somewhere it will get planning. Indeed. onemanband

If it did`nt have planning permission,a developer offering £275M has information from somewhere it will get planning. Indeed.

Farmer probably won't get the full £275m until permission is granted. He'll get say the market value and the rest upon permission.

I read that in last weekends DM.
IIRC developers wanted to buy half his land but permission refused. They are more confident of a bigger 10000 house scheme with shops and schools and stuff, so then offered £275m for the lot.
Given the housing shortage I don't know if that was a noble or a selfish thing the farmer did. Yes there are brownfield sites and other options to building on fields, but ultimately we are going to have to build on some fields.
onemanband

in some places he would need a very trustworthy close protection team.

George Peppard and his chums ?
Rob R

but ultimately we are going to have to build on some fields.

They should start by doing up all the millions of empty shells stood rotting Twisted Evil
Jamanda

but ultimately we are going to have to build on some fields.

They should start by doing up all the millions of empty shells stood rotting Twisted Evil

He's not wrong.
onemanband

but ultimately we are going to have to build on some fields.

They should start by doing up all the millions of empty shells stood rotting Twisted Evil

He's not wrong.

He is - well his figures are.
600k empty houses of which 200k are long term empty.
Agree it's a start, but those 200k is just one years housing need - what then ?
Ty Gwyn

but ultimately we are going to have to build on some fields.

They should start by doing up all the millions of empty shells stood rotting Twisted Evil

He's not wrong.


Trouble is they are usually rotting in the wrong area,

There was talk a number of years back that empty properties with nothing being done to them were going to be compulsory purchased by the councils for much needed housing,as usual nothing came of that.
There are 3 properties within 2mls of here,been empty for the 28yrs i`ve lived here,one is now being done up,still unoccupied,another is still derelict although sound looking in structure,but the one that takes the biscuit is a bungalow built in 1985 that has never been lived in,what a waste.
onemanband


There was talk a number of years back that empty properties with nothing being done to them were going to be compulsory purchased by the councils for much needed housing,as usual nothing came of that.

according to this they can charge extra council tax. However only 1 in 4 of the 216k empty homes where charged extra. Also home owners now don't register the house as empty. If they register as empty they might pay c.tax +50%. Instead they pay full c.tax and the onus is now on the council to find the empty properties.
So that didn't work then.
Mistress Rose

We are told there is a need for all this extra housing but is it true? I think that some poeple are on several lists, most are in some sort of accomodation, but it might not be right for them, and the ones that are really homeless can't afford a house or even a flat. I know most developments have to have up to a quarter of social/affordable housing, but it is easy for the developer to claim that makes it unecomomic and be forgiven it. I am sure the prestige developments don't have to have social housing either.

I am not against anyone having somewhere suitable to live, but over 10,000 houses are planned within 15 miles of here. That can't be sustainable either as they are all going on greenfield sites.
OtleyLad

There's never an end to this story. Even if we suddenly found the will to build enough houses to meet today's need the population would keep on increasing.

Politicians are chicken when it comes to population control.
Piggyphile

Getting back to the farmer offered 275 million for his land. They interviewed him on radio 2 and he sounded lovely, a really nice man who says he just won't sell at any price. He loves his land, his family has been there for generations and all of the local farmers are agreed it would wreck the countryside they love. He said some things are more important than money. Rob R

Politicians are chicken when it comes to population control.

What about UKIP?
Rob R

Getting back to the farmer offered 275 million for his land. They interviewed him on radio 2 and he sounded lovely, a really nice man who says he just won't sell at any price. He loves his land, his family has been there for generations and all of the local farmers are agreed it would wreck the countryside they love. He said some things are more important than money.

I'm inclined to agree with him.
OtleyLad

Politicians are chicken when it comes to population control.

What about UKIP?

Cutting down on immigration doesn't stop people having children.
Rob R

Politicians are chicken when it comes to population control.

What about UKIP?

Cutting down on immigration doesn't stop people having children.

You said population control, not birth control.

However, the last Government got something right then.
OtleyLad

Politicians are chicken when it comes to population control.

What about UKIP?

Cutting down on immigration doesn't stop people having children.

You said population control, not birth control.
Rolling Eyes It doesn't matter how another human arrives by boat/plane or birth - its the same population increase.


However, the last Government got something right then.

I don't think the government can take credit for that - and 698,512 live births in 2013 is an awful lot of mouths to feed, clothe, etc.
Rob R

Politicians are chicken when it comes to population control.

What about UKIP?

Cutting down on immigration doesn't stop people having children.

You said population control, not birth control.
Rolling Eyes It doesn't matter how another human arrives by boat/plane or birth - its the same population increase.

No, it really isn't - if someone comes into the country of child bearing age that will put the population up more and more quickly than if a resident gives birth to a child because the child will take longer to reach child bearing age.



However, the last Government got something right then.

I don't think the government can take credit for that - and 698,512 live births in 2013 is an awful lot of mouths to feed, clothe, etc.

I bet they'd get the blame if it was the other way round though.

I take it that you didn't read the article? It [the report] said that it could be austerity that has caused this effect and it also said that more than 1/4 of the births were to immigrants, and rising.
Ty Gwyn

Politicians are chicken when it comes to population control.

What about UKIP?

Cutting down on immigration doesn't stop people having children.


It does in the UK.
Tavascarow

Getting back to the farmer offered 275 million for his land. They interviewed him on radio 2 and he sounded lovely, a really nice man who says he just won't sell at any price. He loves his land, his family has been there for generations and all of the local farmers are agreed it would wreck the countryside they love. He said some things are more important than money.

I'm inclined to agree with him. As am I, but having witnessed personally how persuasive big business can be I feel it's only a matter of time. Rob R

Getting back to the farmer offered 275 million for his land. They interviewed him on radio 2 and he sounded lovely, a really nice man who says he just won't sell at any price. He loves his land, his family has been there for generations and all of the local farmers are agreed it would wreck the countryside they love. He said some things are more important than money.

I'm inclined to agree with him. As am I, but having witnessed personally how persuasive big business can be I feel it's only a matter of time.

Not everyone is you, though.
Tavascarow

You don't know the circumstances or the amounts of persuasion.
& it wasn't me but someone near & dear.
Rob R

Neither do you. Tavascarow

No, but I know how ruthless big business is when they want something.
I dont envy this man at all despite the amounts of money.
Rob R

I don't envy him either, trying to farm that close to a major settlement. It's bad enough with the village & people thinking they can do what & go wherever they want on farmland. Mistress Rose

We have the problem of people coming out from the town, and most people living in the 'villages' being townspeople. They think the countryside is a playground for them and not a working environment.

Otley Lad, there are a lot of births, but over the next 20 years there will probably be a lot of deaths too. The post war baby boomers are getting into their 70s now, so they will be disappearing over the next 20 years or so. Although I can't see that decreasing the population, it is going to make a big difference. A birth rate of 1.84 is also going to long term result in fewer people too. As long as the birth rate plus immigration ends up with a population rise of less than 2 per couple, we should see fewer people.
Tavascarow

It has nothing to do with need & all to do with greed.
My county council has stated they will allow permission for nearly 50,000 homes in the next twenty years. Independent estimates claim the need is only 13,000. We have a proposed development for nearly two thousand dwellings a couple of miles away that hasn't even been submitted for official planning yet, only in the consultation stage. Yet highways have built a slip road off the main road to feed it!!!??
Talk about a done deal.
When I attended a local town council meeting with regards to the above the planning officer was so pally with the representative from the developers you would think they where sharing a bed, certainly not impartial.
When big business says jump you jump or you get squashed, the facts of life. Including it seems local politicians & bureaucrats.
The only hope this farmer has of fighting them off is if he can get enough community support through the internet & locally. 38degrees, facebook etc.
When my father was fighting the local mining company he was one man against a multinational & didn't stand a chance.
& yes I know I've got a big chip on my shoulder. I've good reason. Laughing
dpack

multinationals (and those with "friends"in power can be successfully opposed).

tis hard and can be dangeroos but it can be done.
Rob R

Need and greed - interesting theory, but there's a massive gap between 13,000 and 50,000. Surely greed relies upon fulfilling a need/demand and they can't be relying upon people having an extra 3 houses in addition to the one they live in. Or is it purely holiday homes down there? dpack

perhaps ask for a town and get a village Wink Tavascarow

Need and greed - interesting theory, but there's a massive gap between 13,000 and 50,000. Surely greed relies upon fulfilling a need/demand and they can't be relying upon people having an extra 3 houses in addition to the one they live in. Or is it purely holiday homes down there? 13,000 is to fulfil the needs of the current population & their dependants.
The further 37,000 I assume will be a combination of second homes, retirees from elsewhere & inner city overspill. A lot of people are being priced out of social housing in London & elsewhere by developers, they will have to live somewhere.
You can buy a new two bed semi here for less than you would pay for a bedsit in London.
I'm not against development but it has to be sustainable.
This much in a County the size of Cornwall, geographically very small, & with very poor infrastructure isn't sustainable. Quite the opposite.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

If we're talking about housing developments, I do accept they need to happen. However, the way we do them now is ridiculous. Teeny tiny boxes squashed onto some floodplain land, with no work on infrastructure or facilities... stupid.
We should be looking at green towns/cities. A modern version of the garden cities if you like. Food production, green spaces for health, designing around pedestrians and cyclists (but with room for plumbers in their transit vans), you know the drill. PV panels on buildings, greywater recycling. Why aren't we doing this already??
onemanband

Agree with you there NMG. The edge of town development and infilling has peaked and we need big solutions. IMO the so called 'garden cities' proposed in Kent and Cambridgeshire(?) are just greenwash and will be more of what you mention .........tiny boxes with pointless gardens and crap parking.
Plenty of people don't want gardens, so why not build some houses without and give other houses proper useable gardens for those that want them ?
New estates round here all seem to have off-road parking. My theory is that eliminating on-road parking means the public highway can be narrower (and cheaper), which means you can squeeze in more houses and can 'add value' to the property cos it has off-road parking. However because every body owns their drive and the parking spaces cannot be shared it means visitor/tradesman/delivery parking is crap and it doesn't balance out between multi-car households and no-car households.
And garages ? who puts a car in a garage nowadays ? Yet new houses all seem to come with a garage which invariably is filled with unused pushbikes and exercise equipment, or it gets converted.
I could go on ..........
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Communal residents' car-parks don't seem to work well (as typified by a lot of council / housing estates I've seen). Why not "mews" arrangements with a garage as your bottom storey. Build up! Or on "difficult" sloped sites build into the hillside. Trouble with that is it takes individual consideration instead of copy/pasting the little boxes across your map.

Back-to-backs are pretty efficient ways of building small homes where everyone gets a front door and a little yard. Would they meet modern building regulations though? Stuff the walls with heat and sound insulation though!

Big developments by housing associations should have compulsory water recycling, renewable power, green roofs, etc. I know estates that don't even have recycling bins!
onemanband

Communal residents' car-parks don't seem to work well
No it's the people that don't work well.

Yes, I've seen a couple of mews type developments that function well.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Communal residents' car-parks don't seem to work well
No it's the people that don't work well.

Yes, I've seen a couple of mews type developments that function well.

Environments prompt or discourage certain behaviours though.

Anyway, it's a pain to lug shopping from a car park Wink
dpack

in places with space there is little need of wage slaves so small homes with big gardens makes sense ,that might need more area but it is more sustainable than broilers for unwanted flesh . OtleyLad

We have the problem of people coming out from the town, and most people living in the 'villages' being townspeople. They think the countryside is a playground for them and not a working environment.

Otley Lad, there are a lot of births, but over the next 20 years there will probably be a lot of deaths too. The post war baby boomers are getting into their 70s now, so they will be disappearing over the next 20 years or so. Although I can't see that decreasing the population, it is going to make a big difference. A birth rate of 1.84 is also going to long term result in fewer people too. As long as the birth rate plus immigration ends up with a population rise of less than 2 per couple, we should see fewer people.

Until there is some sort of consensus on the number of people these islands can sustainably accommodate (population/birth control call it whatever you will) and until governments stop peddling the mantra of more growth/choice/consumption, 'nature' will continue to be squeezed out to make way for us all-consuming humans. And I say again that politicians are chicken over this issue.

So we'll continue to squabble over who can live where and what type/size/price house they can have whilst doing little or nothing to address the real challenges.
Rob R

in places with space there is little need of wage slaves so small homes with big gardens makes sense ,that might need more area but it is more sustainable than broilers for unwanted flesh .

Only if the gardens are utilized, if they're just filled with junk it could easily be a waste.
Rob R

We have the problem of people coming out from the town, and most people living in the 'villages' being townspeople. They think the countryside is a playground for them and not a working environment.

Otley Lad, there are a lot of births, but over the next 20 years there will probably be a lot of deaths too. The post war baby boomers are getting into their 70s now, so they will be disappearing over the next 20 years or so. Although I can't see that decreasing the population, it is going to make a big difference. A birth rate of 1.84 is also going to long term result in fewer people too. As long as the birth rate plus immigration ends up with a population rise of less than 2 per couple, we should see fewer people.

Until there is some sort of consensus on the number of people these islands can sustainably accommodate (population/birth control call it whatever you will) and until governments stop peddling the mantra of more growth/choice/consumption, 'nature' will continue to be squeezed out to make way for us all-consuming humans. And I say again that politicians are chicken over this issue.

So we'll continue to squabble over who can live where and what type/size/price house they can have whilst doing little or nothing to address the real challenges.

The problem is that there are so many conflicting interest groups lobbying for different things but using population as their reasoning. The consensus is that increasing (average) affluence, access to education and birth control reduces birth rates.

You've got a green(ish) lobby that says we could feed more people(!) more sustainably if they reduced their meat consumption. On the other side we could feed more with home produced food if we ate more of it (as opposed to under utilisation of land and relying upon exports).

On this latter point it isn't even as simple as keeping 'foreigners' out as, despite being a smaller proportion of the population, they seem to eat more sustainably than us Brits.
Mistress Rose

I think it makes sense to grow as much food for ourselves as we can. Possibly because rationing was still going on when I was very small, although I wasn't aware of it, and the effect it had on my parents thinking, I have always felt that if individuals and nations can rely as little as possible on other people (while being willing to help others), we would be far less vulnerable. It only needs another nation to stop trading with us and we could end up in trouble.

If we can keep the birth rate down, and balance the number of people in the country, or even reduce it slightly it would be a definate advantage. Looking at sensible farming practise and helping farmers utilise the land to the best sustainable advantage would also help.

Taking housing out of the political agenda and perhaps just building some sort of decent place that people can afford would also help, and having them available for rent or part own. All these new houses aren't going to be affordable for the very people than need them.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Thinking of low input / permaculture type farming (and actually farming in general) - it requires a lot more labour on the land, delicate harvesting... so there would be jobs for more people and a healthier food production system Ty Gwyn

Thinking of low input / permaculture type farming (and actually farming in general) - it requires a lot more labour on the land, delicate harvesting... so there would be jobs for more people and a healthier food production system


If the public Were prepared to pay the extra to cover the extra wages for this kind of production.
Rob R

Thinking of low input / permaculture type farming (and actually farming in general) - it requires a lot more labour on the land, delicate harvesting... so there would be jobs for more people and a healthier food production system


If the public Were prepared to pay the extra to cover the extra wages for this kind of production.

Plenty of people bang on about 'cheap meat', and the effect that has on the planet, but the massive increase we've seen in the consumption of cheap veg goes unmentioned becasue, allegedly, we don't eat enough of it;

Ty Gwyn

Where is the location of that photo? dpack

almeria,spain at an vaguely informed guess Rob R

almeria,spain at an vaguely informed guess

yup
OtleyLad

I find it very hard to imagine an ideal world where:

1. Everyone eats enough (but not too much) to maintain their health.
2. The production of all that food is sustainable in the long term – i.e. it protects the soil and doesn’t pollute the environment nor use unsustainable amounts of energy.
3. Everyone has access to/use of reasonable housing, services (health, education, etc) and infrastructure.
4. There is enough land area set aside to sustain a rich biodiversity (fauna/flora) aka Nature.

If such an optimum state were to be achieved it would surely involve curbs on the total human population and their activities (i.e. a person can only have access to/use of a limited amount of resources) – without such constraints the optimum balance could not be maintained.

Can you imagine any of these things being achieved anytime soon? I doubt if a single item could even be agreed upon. And of course you can’t have a partial solution as it needs all the components to be in place to maintain the optimum balance.
In our current ad hoc madness item 4 (‘Nature’) only happens by accident.

If I didn’t suffer from irationable optimism I’d be depressed…
Cathryn

Is that photo supposed to show a problem? I cannot tell what it is exactly but isn't it some kind of covering to keep the water in and reduce the need? OtleyLad

Is that photo supposed to show a problem? I cannot tell what it is exactly but isn't it some kind of covering to keep the water in and reduce the need?

Its probably acres and acres of polytunnels.You see these all over spain for growing cut flowers as well as veg.
Rob R

Is that photo supposed to show a problem? I cannot tell what it is exactly but isn't it some kind of covering to keep the water in and reduce the need?

Glasshouses, and yes, but then you could say the same for keeping cattle and sheep indoors year round. There are advantages, bit it's not very biodiverse.

There are other issues, too, but it's not PC to criticise veg production at the moment.
Rob R

I find it very hard to imagine an ideal world where:

1. Everyone eats enough (but not too much) to maintain their health.
2. The production of all that food is sustainable in the long term – i.e. it protects the soil and doesn’t pollute the environment nor use unsustainable amounts of energy.
3. Everyone has access to/use of reasonable housing, services (health, education, etc) and infrastructure.
4. There is enough land area set aside to sustain a rich biodiversity (fauna/flora) aka Nature.

If such an optimum state were to be achieved it would surely involve curbs on the total human population and their activities (i.e. a person can only have access to/use of a limited amount of resources) – without such constraints the optimum balance could not be maintained.

Can you imagine any of these things being achieved anytime soon? I doubt if a single item could even be agreed upon. And of course you can’t have a partial solution as it needs all the components to be in place to maintain the optimum balance.
In our current ad hoc madness item 4 (‘Nature’) only happens by accident.

If I didn’t suffer from irationable optimism I’d be depressed…

I've made it my life's work to achieve that so yes, I share your optimism. But we do have great obstacles to overcome, not least people's attitudes towards food and what we should eat.
Nick

Every population that has ever roamed the earth has expanded to the limits of the environment round it, has fought off other species, and killed off the weak, the spent and the neighbours for the good of the local tribe/flock/herd/collective noun for dinosaurs.

Why would humans be any different?
Why should we?

I don't mean as individuals, that's easy to answer, but as populations.
Rob R

Indeed, that's how natural selection has worked for millenia. We're not saving the world, we're saving ourselves and what we value, the world we want to live in, which is no less selfish. Rob R

On that bomshell, here's a video of nearby Skipwith Common, to add a little positivity into the state of the world. tahir

I don't mean as individuals, that's easy to answer, but as populations.

As populations we can't even resolve the Israel/Palestine situation. Whatever we consider ourselves to be, as a species we're remarkably similar to any other organism; a mindless quest to dominate.

Anyone seen Kingsman?
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